Resveratrol is a plant compound that acts like an antioxidant. The top food sources include red wine, grapes, some berries and peanuts.
This compound tends to be concentrated mostly in the skins and seeds of grapes and berries. These parts of the grape are included in the fermentation of red wine, hence its particularly high concentration of resveratrol.
However, much of the research on resveratrol has been done in animals and test tubes using high amounts of the compound.
Of the limited research in humans, most has focused on supplemental forms of the compound, in concentrations higher than those you could get through food.
- Resveratrol Supplements May Help Lower Blood Pressure
Because of its antioxidant properties, resveratrol could be a promising supplement for lowering blood pressure.
A 2015 review concluded that high doses may help reduce the pressure exerted on artery walls when the heart beats.
That type of pressure is called systolic blood pressure, and appears as the upper number in blood pressure readings.
Systolic blood pressure typically goes up with age, as arteries stiffen. When high, it's a risk factor for heart disease.
Resveratrol may accomplish this blood-pressure-lowering effect by helping to produce more nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to relax.
- It Has a Positive Effect on Blood Fats
Several studies in animals have suggested that resveratrol supplements may change blood fats in a healthy way.
A 2016 study fed mice a high-protein, high-polyunsaturated fat diet and also gave them resveratrol supplements.
Researchers found the average total cholesterol levels and body weight of the mice decreased, and their levels of "good" HDL cholesterol increased.
Resveratrol seems to influence cholesterol levels by reducing the effect of an enzyme that controls cholesterol production.
As an antioxidant, it also may decrease the oxidation of "bad" LDL cholesterol. LDL oxidation contributes to plaque buildup in artery walls.
In one study, participants were given grape extract that had been boosted with extra resveratrol.
After six months of treatment, their LDL had gone down by 4.5% and their oxidized LDL had gone down by 20% compared to participants who took an unenriched grape extract or a placebo).
- It Protects the Brain
Several studies have suggested that drinking red wine can help slow down age-related cognitive decline.
This may partly be due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of resveratrol.
It seems to interfere with protein fragments called beta-amyloids, which are crucial to forming the plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.
Additionally, the compound may set off a chain of events that protects brain cells from damage.
While this research is intriguing, scientists still have questions about how well the human body is able to make use of supplemental resveratrol, which limits its immediate use as a supplement to protect the brain.
- It May Increase Insulin Sensitivity
Resveratrol has been shown to have several benefits for diabetes, at least in animal studies.
These benefits include increasing insulin sensitivity and preventing complications from diabetes.
One explanation for how resveratrol works is that it may stop a certain enzyme from turning glucose into sorbitol, a sugar alcohol.
When too much sorbitol builds up in people with diabetes, it can create cell-damaging oxidative stress.
Here are a few more benefits resveratrol may have for people with diabetes:
May protect against oxidative stress: Its antioxidant action may help protect against oxidative stress, which causes some of the complications of diabetes.
Helps decrease inflammation: Resveratrol is thought to lessen inflammation, a key contributor to chronic diseases, including diabetes.
Activates AMPK: This is a protein that helps the body metabolize glucose. Activated AMPK helps keep blood sugar levels low.
Resveratrol may even provide more benefits for people with diabetes than those who don't have it. In one animal study, red wine and resveratrol were actually more effective antioxidants in rats with diabetes than in rats who didn't have it.
- It May Ease Joint Pain
Arthritis is a common affliction that leads to joint pain and loss of mobility.
Plant-based supplements are being studied as a way to treat and prevent joint pain. When taken as a supplement, resveratrol may help protect cartilage from deteriorating.
Cartilage breakdown can cause joint pain and is one of the main symptoms of arthritis.
One study injected resveratrol into the knee joints of rabbits with arthritis and found that these rabbits suffered less damage to their cartilage.
Other research in test tubes and animals has suggested that the compound has potential to reduce inflammation and prevent damage to joints.
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Do not exceed recommended dose. Pregnant or nursing mothers, children under 18, and individuals with a known medical condition should consult a physician before using this or any dietary supplement. This product is manufactured and packaged in a facility which may also process milk, soy, wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and crustacean shellfish
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